Sands castles rivals to land first Group One prize

Sands Of Mali pulled off a 28/1 shock in G1 QIPCO British Champions Sprint under jockey Paul Hanagan.

The three-year-old colt was in good form earlier this summer, and was beaten just half a length in the G1 Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot, but his form since then had been below that level.

Today he rediscovered his mojo, making all to beat Harry Angel (4/1) and Donjuan Triumphant (16/1) by a length and one and a quarter lengths.

Winning trainer Yorkshire-based Richard Fahey said: "It's been very frustrating - he just got nailed at the Royal Meeting and things went pear-shaped after that. He's always worked like a nice horse at home, and today he's proven that he is. He's had a couple of goes [at Group One races] and today it's come good so I'm delighted.

"I don't know why he's been beaten lately - maybe he just hurt himself a little bit on the quicker ground at Royal Ascot, and I felt he ran okay at Haydock last time out, but today was where we thought he should be. What they should be and what they actually do are quite different sometimes.

"It's great for the owners, Cool Silk [Partnership], and for Matt Coleman [bloodstock agent] who buys all their horses. He bought this one at the Ascot breeze-up sale, and my man [agent] was standing nearby [before the horse went into the sales ring]. Matt said, 'We want this horse, and if we get him he's coming to you anyway,' so it's all worked out. It's a good result for a small trainer up the north!"

Hanagan said: "I quite enjoyed that! We've always thought a lot of Sands Of Mali and today he showed everyone what we've always believed.

"I was never headed and I couldn't believe how well I was going with two furlongs to go. I just loved the way he picked up again when Harry Angel came to challenge him.

"I did think he was a very big price as I knew he would handle the ground. We've been saying for a while how good we think he is, so we're really chuffed."

Hanagan has enjoyed a fruitful partnership with Malton handler Fahey throughout his career and he paid tribute to the trainer after the race, commenting: "I can't put into words what it means to win for Richard. He's never left my side and always been there for me, so I owe him a lot."

Sands Of Mali is a 12/1 shot with Ladbrokes and 20/1 with Paddy Power for the G1 Diamond Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot next season.

 2.00pm £632,500 QIPCO British Champions Sprint Stakes (Group 1) 6F

1 (10) Sands of Mali (FR) Richard Fahey 9st 1lb Paul Hanagan 28/1

2 (13) Harry Angel (IRE) Clive Cox 9st 2lb Adam Kirby 4/1

3 (7) Donjuan Triumphant (IRE) Andrew Balding 9st 2lb James Doyle 16/1

4 (14) Brando Kevin Ryan 9st 2lb Jamie Spencer 13/2

5 (6) Sir Dancealot (IRE) David Elsworth 9st 2lb Gerald Mosse 25/1

6 (9) Projection Roger Charlton 9st 2lb Kieran Shoemark 20/1

7 (8) The Tin Man James Fanshawe 9st 2lb Oisin Murphy 3/1 Fav

8 (1) Tasleet (Blinkers, Tongue Strap) William Haggas 9st 2lb Jim Crowley 8/1

9 (11) Limato (IRE) Henry Candy 9st 2lb Harry Bentley 12/1

 10 (3) Son of Rest (Blinkers) J. A. Stack, Ireland 9st 2lb Chris Hayes 25/1

11 (5) Librisa Breeze Dean Ivory 9st 2lb Robert Winston 11/2

12 (2) Speak In Colours (Tongue Strap) Joseph Patrick O'Brien, Ireland 9st 1lb Donnacha O'Brien 33/1

13 (4) Dream of Dreams (IRE) Sir Michael Stoute 9st 2lb Ryan Moore 20/1

14 (12) Bacchus Brian Meehan 9st 2lb William Buick 33/1

14 ran

Winner owned and bred by Bjorn Nielsen

Breeding: 3 b c Panis (USA) - Kadiania (FR) (Indian Rocket)

Bet With Ascot - Win £33.60; Places £7.60, £2.20, £5.80 First Two £224.20  Distances: 1, 1¼, ½, ½, nk, 2¼, 1½, ½, hd, 2¼, 1¾, 8, 9  

Time: 1m 14.21s